“Dream Dancer” by Janet Morris
Life does not always have a great reputation for dealing a fair hand. Without going into details, suffice it to say that despair grasped me within its claws when I was fifteen years old. There seemed only one way to escape it, or so it seemed to me at that time. It was in desperation that I took measures that would have led to a final act... and then I read “Dream Dancer”, the first book in the trilogy written by the incredible and indomitable Janet Morris.
“Dream Dancer” is a compelling story of a young girl's life and her reach for love and survival despite almost insurmountable odds. “Dream Dancer” is rich in back story, whether it be political or personal, and rich in character. It is science fiction and it is fantasy but more than this, it is a veritable tapestry of word craft taken to an exalted height.
As I read and reread the three books in the series, with it came another story, one whispered into my ear, “Write,” it said, “and it will save you.” This began a quest to not only save myself but to write beyond my dark poetry, to learn by example and to grow in the doing of same. In homage of this, I took the name of the protagonist in “Dream Dancer” as part of my nom de plume within that same year. I have used it to sign my work ever since.
I have been fortunate to have met the legendary Janet Morris, to speak with her and be encouraged by her to continue my journey. I will always be grateful that talent such as hers exists in this world. It has made me love a world that could have such words in it.
My awe of this writer and her work, in particular, “The Dream Dancer” trilogy is made up of many parts. The respect that any lover of fiction can feel toward someone as talented as Janet Morris, a thanks to the heavens that she set these words to page and, that these words, somehow found their way to me.
“Dream Dancer” is not a young adult series, it is an adult story with a young heroine. She eventually comes to discover an inner peace within herself while finding her own place in the confusing world around her. I still have the three books, worn, tattered and taped together in a place of honor on my bookshelf. I reread them from time to time, not only in remembrance of the despair this series helped me to transcend but also as a reminder of how far I have come since then. As a writer, I can only hope that my words will touch someone as deeply.